Medical Society of the State of North Carolina. An.

Cyclopedia of automobile engineering; a general reference work on the construction, operation, and care of gasoline, steam, and electric automobiles, instruction in driving, commercial vehicles, motorcycles, motor boats aerial vehicles, self-propelled railway cars, etc online

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Online LibraryMedical Society of the State of North Carolina. AnCyclopedia of automobile engineering; a general reference work on the construction, operation, and care of gasoline, steam, and electric automobiles, instruction in driving, commercial vehicles, motorcycles, motor boats aerial vehicles, self-propelled railway cars, etc → online text (page 4 of 27)
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and lower head are pressed in one piece from sheet steel, and the
upper head is riveted in. The shell is tightly wound with piano wire,
the strength of which is far in excess of boiler steel, making the boiler
very strong for its weight, and not liable to rapture.

In every steam boiler the upper space is reserved for steam to
give the water spray a chance to separate. In the type of boiler


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just described the steam space is approximately the upper third of
the boiler. As the fire tubes in this space are hot, they tend to
evaporate any water which strikes them. To ensure further that
the steam shall contain no water when it reaches the engine, it is
superheated by passing through a pipe, which is carried down
through the boiler and forms a flat coil in the hottest part of the

To protect the boiler from damage due to the water level be-
coming too low, it is fitted with a fusible plug. This is a lead plug

clamped in a suitable
brass fitting which is
screwed into the boiler
a few inches above the
bottom. The plug is
exposed to the heat of
the fire, but is normally
kept from melting by
being in contact with
the water in the boiler.
When, however, the
water level gets below
the fusible plug the
steam can no longer
keep it cool, and it
blows out. The noise of
escaping steam gives
Fig. 21. Stanley Bouer. warning to the operator

to shut off his fire and
refill. To facilitate this process a valve between the plug and the
boiler is closed to check the escape of steam and water.

Unequal expansion, due to warping or the like, will loosen the
tubes and cause leakage. Such warping inevitably follows if the
boiler is allowed to get dry, or if the burner is negligently fired up
without water in the boiler. Aside from the risk of permanent
damage from this cause, it is a tedious and troublesome job to re-
expand the tubes. No rule imposed on the steam car owner is more
stringent than to satisfy himself at all times beyond peradventure
that his boiler has water and enough of it.


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The Lane boiler, Fig. 22, combines some features of the fire-
tube type with those of the flash generator described in detail on
Page 69. Above the boiler proper, which is of the fire-tube type with
very large tubes, is a set of coils of brass tubing, brass being used
because it is removed from the most intense heat of the fire. The
water is pumped into the topmost coil and passes in succession
through those below, becoming thereby progressively heated by the
gases and flame coming up through the fire tubes. From the lowest
coil it goes into the boiler proper, being by this time partly converted
into steam. The water falls to the bottom of the boiler, and the
steam becomes superheated by contact with the hot tubes. By this
arrangement the fuel has been
made to give up all the heat pos-
sible, and pass off at a much lower
temperature than that of the steam.


Diaphragm Regulator. In all

cars having fire-tube boilers the
fire is regulated automatically ac-
cording to the steam pressure. It
is assumed that the water level in
the boiler will be maintained sub-
stantially constant, either automat- pjg 22. Lane BoUer.
ically or by hand. It remains then

simply to maintain the steam pressure at the proper point.
That is done by means of a diaphragm regulator acted on by the
steam pressure, and controlling a valve through which the fuel passes
to the vaporizer. Fig. 23 shows the Stanley diaphragm regulator
in section. A diaphragm of sheet bronze or other metal has its
edges clamped with gaskets between two portions A B of the cas-
ing, and a connection at C leads to the boiler. The diaphragm
bears against a disk D backed by a strong spring E, The fuel
valve, usually of the needle type, is connected to the disk through
a guide and stuffing-box F as shown, so that when the spring is com-
pressed by the disk bulging under steam pressure the fuel valve
will close. The spring is under initial load equal to the normal


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pressure, and does not respond to the steam till the normal pressure

is exceeded. The effect is to cause the fire to be either on or off
most of the time, it being found that burners
of this type do not operate well when the supply
of fuel is considerably reduced but not shut off.
The spring tension is adjustable by turning the
hollow screw G.

Steam Gauge. In all steam cars the press-
ure in the boiler is indicated by a steam gauge
on the dash. Steam does not actually enter this
gauge, but pressure is communicated to it through
oil which fills the connecting pipe and the gauge
itself. The reason for using oil is to prevent
freezing in cold weather.

Water Pumps and By-Pass Valve. Water is
pumped into the boiler by a power pump. Fig. 24,
run from the engine. As this pump runs contin-
uously, a by-pass valve is provided, which, when
open, permits the water commg from the pump
to return to the pump supply pipe or tank. In
some cars, like the Stanley, the by-pass valve is
opened and closed by the operator, Fig. 25, ac-

^hragin R4"ufat<S!*' c'ording to his observation of the boiler's needs.
In the Lane car, an automatic device on the

principle of the thermostat controls the by-pass valve, but there is

also a hand by-pass valve.

Fig. 24. Power Pumps of Stanley Engine.

In addition to the power water pump, there is always a hand
pump, partly for emergency use if the power pump should get out


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of order, but chiefly to pump water into the boiler when there is no
steam up and not sufficient water to make it safe to start the fu'e.
The Lane car has an auxiliary water pump worked by steam.

Water Level Indicator. In
early steam cars a gauge glass of
the form commonly used on sta-
tionary boilers was employed to
indicate the water level. These
gauge glasses are unreliable,
and with the high pressures now
employed are impracticable. In
their place is used a thermostat
device which depends on the
principle that water communica-
ting with the boiler, but cut off
from circulation, becomes cold.
The general arrangement is

shown in Fig. 26. -4 is a pipe leading from the water space of the
boiler, J? is a pipe similarly communicating with the steam space,
and C b a connection from A and 5 to a closed chamber D in which

Fig. 25. Stanley steering Wheel, Throttle,
and fiy-Pass Levers.

Big. 26. Principle of Thermostatic Water Level Indicator.


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is a thermostat. Suppose the water level is at M: the chamber D will
fill with water at boiler pressure. Nevertheless, as this water is not cir-
culating, it will presently become cold, and the thermostat likewise.
If now the water level drops to N the chamber D will fill with steam,
which as fast as it condenses will settle into connection C, The chamber
D and the thermostat will therefore be kept hot by fresh steam.
Evidently the thermostat may operate an indicator of any convenient
kind whose movement will show whether the thermostat is hot or
cold. In the Stanley, the thermostat is simply a copper U-tube
partly filled with water, which rises or falls in one end when steam
is produced or condensed in the other. In the Lane car, a metallic
thermostat is used, which operates by the differential expansion of
two dissimilar metals — copper and steel. This thermostat not only
controls the water level indicator on the dash, but is likewise con-
nected to the by-pass valve, thereby rendering the latter automatic.

Air Pumps. The power air pump for pumping up fuel pres-
sure has already been mentioned. When the main tank is not under
pressure, but only a small auxiliary tank through which the gasoline
passes, as in the Stanley, no power air pump is required. A hand
pump is always provided for emergency use and for raising pressure
to start. The Lane car has also a steam air pump.

Management on the Road. As will be understood from the fore-
going, the operator's part in managing the power plant — other than
attention to the throttle — is ordinarily limited to watching the water-
level indicator, and managing the by-pass valve — if not automatic —
in accordance with the water level. When the level drops, the by-
pass valve must be closed, thereby causing all the water pumped
to enter the boiler. When the water level exceeds the proper height,
the by-pass valve is opened, and water ceases to enter the boiler.
It is not practicable to open the by-pass valve part way, as this would
cause the water to go through the -valve at boiler pressure, and in
time the scouring action due^o the pressure would make the valve leak.

Blind adherence to the above rule will not always give as good
results as may be obtained through manipulation. For example, if
one sees a hill ahead, he can fill the boiler somewhat higher than its
usual level and give the added water time to get hot before the hill is
reached. This affords a reserve supply for surmounting the hill. In
the average hilly country, one can make a practice of pumping water


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The White Company, Cleveland, Ohio.


The White Company, Cleveland, Ohio.

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on down grades when littie or no steam is being used and the heat of
the fire is available to heat the incoming water. Near the bottom of
the hills the by-pass valve is opened and the ascent taken in good style.
If the accumulated pressure has caused the fire to shut off, the throttle
may be opened just before the bottom of the hill is reached, and the
drop in pressure will bring the fire on while impetus is being gained.
It is a general rule for all classes of steam cars that the fire shovldy if
possible, be **on*' before an up grade is begun. By proper manage-
ment the fire may be kept burning continuously in a hilly country,
while power is used only on the up grades.

In applying the above principles it should be remembered that
only the wetted inside surface of the boiler is available for making
steam. If the water is low, steam cannot be raised as rapidly as
when the boiler is full, assuming that the water is hot in both cases.
On the other hand, if the boiler is worked too full one may get wet
steam despite the superheater, with loss of power due to condensa-
tion. In an extreme case, enough water might even be carried through
to choke the clearance spaces at the cylinder ends. This would
probably result in a head being knocked out, or a connecting rod or
crank bent, as the water could not be ejected quickly enough by the
lifting of the slide valve to save the engine from severe shock when
the piston reached the end of its stroke. A boiler of the Lane type,
in which the water is partly converted into steam in coils above the
boiler proper, and in which the fire tubes are large enough to permit
combustion to take place inside of them, is an exception to the above,
in that superheating takes place chiefly in the "boiler."

The more rapidly fuel is supplied to the burner, the hotter will
be the fire. Where ample power is desired, therefore, the burner
is worked under more than ordinary pressure. The normal pressure
for the White burner is 50 pounds, although from 35 to 60 or 70
pounds may be carried. In the Stanley cars, which carry pressure
only in the auxiliary tank, 100 pounds is recommended. The Lane
cars may be worked under 30 to 80 pounds.


This section deals in a general way with the principles to be
obsen^ed in the management and care of all cars having fire-tube
boilers. It also gives hints regarding scale prevention, cleaning of


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water tank, etc., which are applicable also to cars liaving flash
generators. It should therefore be read carefully, no matter what
type of car one expects to operate.

Firing Up. As will later be explained, it is customary at the end
of a run to blow down the boiler, for the purpose of ridding it of what-
ever sediment may be present. The blow-off valve is shut when a
few pounds of pressure still remain, and the condensation of this
remaining steam should suck the boiler full of water, provided the
by-pass valve is closed. The presence of this water is desirable to
protect the superheating coil when the fire is started. Therefore
if the car has a conventional fire-tube boiler with superheating coil
beneath, the first step is to ascertain whether the boiler is actually
full. Close the by-pass (if open), open the upper trycock, and if no
water comes out, work the hand pump. See that the water tank is
full. Open the throttle and the drip valve on the steam chest and
continue pumping by hand till water comes out. Leave them open
while starting the fire, to allow the water to expand.

If there is no pressure in the fuel tank, pump it up to the mini-
mum working pressure by hand. Admit gasoline to the cup by
which the pilot light is heated — the Lane car uses alcohol and a long
asbestos "wick'* — ^and light it. When nearly burned out, open the
pilot light supply valve slowly. If a blue flame does* not result,
close the supply valve and admit more gasoline to the cup.

After starting the pilot light, allow it to burn till the vaporizer
is hot, then open the main burner valve carefully. If it fires back
into the burner, shut it off, wait a minute or two and try again.
Turn the burner to full height gradually. If the flame is yellow
or smoky, it is not getting enough air; if it is noisy and lifts off the
burner, it is getting too much air. Once adjusted for a given fuel
pressure, the nozzle or air shutter should not need changing.

WTiile the water is getting hot, the oiling up can be attended to.
As soon as the pressure begins to rise, water will issue from the drip
cock on the steam chest. Close this cock and the throttle valve as
soon as clear steam comes out.

^^^len pressure reaches 100 or 200 pounds, get in the car, throw
the reverse lever to its full forward or backward position, open the
throttle slightly and close It at once. Repeat till the engine starts.
With some yards of clear way, work the reverse lever back and forth


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with the throttle open only a crack, so that the car "seesaws" slowly.
This will work the water out of the engine and warm up the cylinders
till the entering steam ceases to condense. This process must not
be hurried. An attempt to cut it short is likely to result in damage
to the engine. As long as water is present the engine will run jerkily.
When it runs smoothly the car is ready to start.

On starting, the first few blocks should be run slowly to com-
plete the warming up process. If the air pressure b below normal
the air pump should be kept going.

At the End of a Run. On finishing a run, the boiler should be
blown down with the fire turned off. This should be done by open-
ing the blow-off valve near the bottom of the boilef . The escaping
water will carry with it whatever mud and precipitate that has
accumulated. Close the blow-off valve at about 100 pounds, and
the subsequent condensation will fill the boiler by suction from the
tank. If the water in the tank is covered with oil, the end of a hose
should be inserted and the tank flushed out to get rid of the oil. It
is a good plan to put a cupful of kerosene into the tank. It will not
only loosen whatever oil may be clinging there, but will help loosen
the scale liable to form, from hard water, so that on the next blowing
down the boiler will be left clean.

A thermostat water level indicator operates only when steam
is up. When the boiler is cold it indicates high water whether water
is present. or not. When the car is running a faulty reading of the
water level is usually soon noticed, and if it is overlooked there is
still the protection of the fusible plug. If, however, the boiler should
be fired up with no water in it, the fusible plug would melt without
the fact being heralded by escaping steam. Therefore the fusible
plug, like the water level indicator, is useful only when steam is up.

Lubrication. Steam cylinder oil, which consists of mineral oil
mixed with tallow, and sometimes having graphite added, is ysually
recommended for steam cars. Rarely do the makers recommend
straight mineral oil. The oil is fed usually to the steam chest for lu-
bricating the cylinders, and the reason for adding tallow is to cause
the oil to cling to the wet cylinder walls, which a straight mineral oil
will not do. With superheated steam, however, this is not always
necessary. The main bearings, crank pins, and cross heads are
lubricated by splash, the crank-case being enclosed for this purpose.


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The Fusible Plug. If the fusible plug blows out when the car
is running, the escape of steam may be shut off by closing a valve
usually interposed between the boiler and the plug. The fire should
be shut off at once, and if possible the car should be run to reduce the
pressure, thereby allowing the boiler to cool somewhat. When the
drop in pressure compels a halt, close the by-pass valve and pump
water in by hand till it shows in the lowest trycock. Then, after
replacing the fusible plug, the fire may be relighted and the water
level restored while the car runs.

If the plug blows simply because the by-pass valve has been
open too long, the by-pass can be closed, the main fire shut off, and
the engine run by jacking up the rear wheels, till water shows in
the lowest trycock.

Causes of Low Pressure. Low pressure is generally due to
insufficient fire. If the burner pressure is low, steam will not be made
rapidly. If the burner pressure is all right, the burner nozzle may
be clogged or the vaporizing tube may be choked with carbon. The
nozzle may usually be poked out with a bent wire without turning off
the fire. If, however, the vaporizer is clogged it will have to be
removed when the car is cold and cleaned with a drill or otherwise,
as the makers direct.

Occasionally the valve controlled by the diaphragm regulator
may be choked, and rarely the main burner valve. Either can be
cleaned by disconnecting and running a wire through.

Occasionally the pilot light may clog in the same way, usually
at the nozzle. The remedy is the same as for the main burner.

If the air pump fails to raise the pressure on the fuel tank to
the required degree, it is probable that the intake or outlet check
valves leak. If, as is likely, they have oil on them the oil may have
gathered dust. The valves should be taken out and cleaned, and a
drop of oil put on them to make them tight.

The various packings about the engine and auxiliaries require
occasional tightening, and once in a while new packing is necessary.
If the new packing is soft, e. jr., wicking, it may be put on top of the
old, otherwise the old must be removed. The packing should not
in any case be tighter than necessary to prevent leakage, for an un-
necessary friction is thereby caused. A slight leakage about the
water and air pumps may be tolerated to save friction. As the hand


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pumps are rarely used their packings can be looser than those of the
power pumps.

Scale Prevention and Remedies. In sections where hard water
is used, the subject of scale is a serious one, and its treatment will
depend on the character of the mineral contained in the water. Fre-
quently it is possible to precipitate the mineral before putting the
water in the tank. Sometimes the addition of a small quantity of
lime will do this, sometimes carbonate of soda or "soda ash." Still
other waters are successfully treated by adding caustic soda. Some-
times the simple addition of kerosene to untreated water will loosen
the scale as above indicated. If these remedies are not successful,
the user is advised to send a sample gallon of water to a maker of
boiler compounds and have it analyzed, after which a suitable com-
pound can be recooimended. Scale allowed to accumulate by neg-
lect is not only very detrimental to the boiler by interfering with the
free flow of heat, but it seriously reduces the steaming power as well.
Instances have been known of the steaming capacity of boilers being
reduced fifty per cent or more by scale. At the same time the shell
and tubes get hotter than they should, resulting in unequal expansion
and leakage.


General Description. The leading elements of the Stanley cars
have already been mentioned. The fire-tube boiler is located Under
the hood in front. The engine is simple, double-acting, and has
two cylinders, Fig. 27 and Fig. 28. The cylinders and valves are
shown in section in Fig. 29. The engine is suspended horizontally
just ahead of the rear axle and drives through a spur pinion and gear.
A sheet copper casing protects it from dust. Steam is used at 400
pounds pressure with a high degree of superheat. Stephenson link
motion is used, and the cut-off is shortened by pressing a pedal which
is held in position by a pawl on a notched segment on the engine.
Steam is carried to the engine through a flexible steam pipe having
a ball-and-socket joint where it connects to the steam chest.

In Fig. 30 is shown the arrangement of the steam and super-
heating pipes, the throttle valves, arid the cylinder oiling mechan-
ism. Steam from the top of the boiler passes immediately through


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Fig. 27. Stanley Engine. Top View.

Fig. 2S. Stanley Enjrine. Side View.

Fi^. 29. Stanley Engine, Cylinders and Valves in Section.


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the main throttle valve controlled by the operator, and thence to the
auxiliary throttle valve. The pipe then divides and the steam passes
by two smaller pipes down through the boiler, through the super-
heated coils, and up again through the boiler to the main steam pipe.

•Rocker OpQPGted from
C/'05SAei9(f ofBnginz

HL. r.'.-^;.'^^'

Fig. 30. Steam S^fstem of Stanley Cars.

The gasoline system is shown in Fig. 31 and Fig. 32. Instead
of using air pressure in the gasoline tank a power pump forces the
gasoline to the vaporizer under pressure maintained by a supple-
mentary or pressure tank. An automatic relief valve, Fig. 33, just
beyond Ihe power pump, returns
the excess gasoline to the tank.
A hand gasoline pump is provid-
ed for emergency use and for
filling the pressure tank when
the engine is not running. Of
the two pres.sure tanks, the first,
marked 2, is normally filled with
gasoline, and the other with com-
pressed air which acts as a cush-
ion. The ga.soline does not flow
through tank 2, but merely rises
and falls in it. The steam

automatic, controlling the fire, is shown in Fig. 23. Fig. 34 .shows
the water system. Two power pumps, Fig. 24, worked from
the engine, tlirow water through the water level indicator. Fig.

FiR. 31. Oasoline Pressure Tanks of
Sluiiloy Cars.


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26, into the boiler when the by-pass valve is closed. Opening
the by-pass valve causes the water from the pumps to return to the
tank. A hand water pump is provided for use when the engine is
not running, or when the power pumps fail. To operate the hand
pump, the by-pass valve must be closed, and the hand pump valve

Filling the Boiler. Before firing up, be sure that the boiler and
superheaters are full. To be sure of this, open the throttle valve and
steam chest drip, close the by-pass valve and work the hand pump
until water comes from the steam chest drip. If more convenient,
fill the boiler from the town supply by means of the coupling fur-

Fig. 32. Gasoline Ssrstem of Stanley Cars.

nished for this purpose, connecting to the blow-off valve. Never
light the fire until sure that the boiler is full.

At the end of a run open the blow-off valve at the front of the
boiler, and blow down to about 100 pounds. Fill the water tank and
close the by-pass valve, and the condensing steam in the boiler will
siphon the boiler full. Before blowing down, see that the pilot light
is out as well as the main burner. It can be extinguished by blowing

Online LibraryMedical Society of the State of North Carolina. AnCyclopedia of automobile engineering; a general reference work on the construction, operation, and care of gasoline, steam, and electric automobiles, instruction in driving, commercial vehicles, motorcycles, motor boats aerial vehicles, self-propelled railway cars, etc → online text (page 4 of 27)